Home > Laptop Review

Best CAT5 Ethernet Splitters in 2023

CAT 5 Splitters aren't great, but we have some better options

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on February 1, 2022

I’m going to be upfront with you now, dear reader, that this recommendation article for CAT5 Splitters isn’t going to be all CAT5 splitters. See, a lot of the hardware available via Amazon and other sources isn’t particularly great. Cheaply made, put out, and hoping that people just don’t see the worth in getting a refund.

There is obviously some good stuff out there, but overall, I’d still wholly recommend an Ethernet Switch.

But what’s the difference between a switch and a splitter?

Products at a Glance

Ethernet Splitter or Network Switch?

An ethernet splitter takes in one signal and simply splits it along the outputs, but doesn’t need an external power source to work. It’s one in, two out for instance. A splitter is not as complex as the alternative switch, which takes in one signal and manages the output of everything simultaneously and can be stacked atop one (literally and technically) to create an entire network. They do need power but are frankly the better choice when buying something to split the signal of an ethernet cable.

As such, I cannot recommend a lot of splitters due to their complete lack of reliability. Instead, enjoy some network switches as well!

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

Editor's Choice

NETGEAR 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Network Switch (GS108UK)

  • Does exactly as it says on the tin
  • Eight ports for expanding
  • Gigabit connection throughout
  • Wall-mountable
  • No frills
  • Will you use all eight ports?

Network Switches are incredibly useful. As our homes grow more ‘smart’ and more objects enter the house with an internet connection, the need for a wire to cut through the wireless noise for your desktop or docked laptop can be a desperate need.

You don’t even need to overthink it, as Netgear’s own 8 port switch is as simple as you can get and allows for a Gigabit connection through it. It’s big enough to seem ridiculous, but at the same time, gives you enough ports to play with if you’re in need of adding more devices.

It might look ugly, but it does the job and can be wall-mounted to keep it out the way!

  • Actually splits Ethernet
  • USB Powered
  • Seems fairly reliable
  • No gigabit
  • USB Powered
  • You might as well just get a switch

The only network splitter on this list, from a company that has a slight tongue twist element to it: Wuedozue. It’s unique in how it operates compared to the others on the market, in that it actually requires USB power. However, from what we can tell, it’ll work without USB power to support just a singular device.

The real main downside to this is that it takes a 1000Mbp/s connection and turns it into a 100Mbp/s. This is understandable for a wire that is splitting in two with no real lateral thinking behind it, but you can do so much better.

  • 10-Gigabit Connection
  • Power-over-Ethernet
  • 24 Ports for Expansion of Network
  • Perfect for Professionals
  • Expensive
  • Only four 10-Gig Ports
  • Power-Over-Ethernet has a harsh limit

You knew it was going to be here, but the big boy is here. WCW used to have a slogan of “Where the Big Boys Play” and this is one of those moments where it seems appropriate.

While it’s not intended for us regular Joes, this is a 10-gigabit switch (4 dedicated ports) with Power over Ethernet included on all 24 ports, giving you a total ‘budget’ – the term used for providing power to devices via Ethernet – of 384W to play with.

This sort of device is mainly used in office environments, but if you’re more inclined to do things along the lines of wire up your own home network, this might be something you should consider.

  • Place anywhere in the house
  • Two Gigabit ports
  • Socket not locked behind it
  • Can be flakey at times
  • Requires being on the same circuit

Switches are great fun. Plug in a connection, plug in three or four devices, and go to town! But for those with devices all around the house and not particularly interested in running Ethernet all over the house need a solution.

This TP-Link Powerline Kit allows you to split your wired connection between two different gigabit ports, across the house via your existing electrical circuit through the house.

I use these in my own home and they’re incredibly easy to set up. Once paired, even if you switch the socket off, you’ll be back up in no time when it’s time to turn it back on.

The versions we recommend come with an extra socket, so you’re not giving up an entire plug to just giving your console, TV, or PC a connection.

Our Verdict

Editor's Choice

Best CAT5 Ethernet Splitters in 2023

That’s it! Our recommendations and overall, I still say go with the regular old Netgear Switch. It’s low cost, can be fit anywhere in the house – out of sight too! – and has enough ports on it to help you keep on top of the plenty consoles or boxes that will be filling your media center for years to come. Even if it sits on your desk with your PC, at least you know you’ve always got the option for other methods of adding devices like storage or servers.